This Thonet-style armchair,
with its graceful curved arms and vintage look, springs back to life with a new seat and coat of paint.
Once revived with wool padding and a springlike striped fabric, this little cabriolet armchair adds a charming touch to a bedroom,
living room or bathroom. The shabby chic finish accentuates its romantic, country-house appeal.
First, clean the armchair with washing soda (sodium carbonate) and 1 liter (about 4 cups) of water.
Scrub with a stiff brush, rinse well and let dry.
One of the arms needs to be screwed back on. A piece of the old screw remains lodged in the armchair.
To remove it, it is necessary to make a deep cut in the wood using a wood chisel and a hammer.
Once freed, the screw can be extracted by rotating it with a pair of pliers.
A penetrating oil may be needed for rusted screws.
To fill the hole, a wood filler can be made by mixing sawdust and glue.
First line the gouge with wood glue, then fill with the wood filler and leave to dry.
Cut away the old cane seat using a craft knife, and then carefully remove the remaining bits.
Make a pattern by placing a large sheet of paper under the seat and tracing the inside edge of the seat frame with a marker.
Copy the pattern onto a thin sheet of Masonite hardboard. Using a craft knife, cut out what will become the new chair seat.
Nail wood battens onto the inside of the seat frame - 1 cm down from the top - using short, thin nails to keep the wood from splitting.
Place the hardboard on these battens and nail it down as well.
You now have the base of the seat, onto which you will place the wool padding.
This armchair was painted with a light green milk paint (three coats).
To give the armchair an antiqued look, the paint was sanded where natural wear would occur. A wax finish was applied.
To make the new seat, place a layer of horsehair on the base, followed by a layer of wool.
You can also use kapok or another type of batting or stuffing.
Lay down the fabric and fasten it with four upholstery tacks, each placed in the center of one side.
Then, staple the rest of the fabric, pulling it tight. Trim the excess fabric.
Cover the tacks and staples with a pretty trim that you can glue or nail on with decorative upholstery tacks.